Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pharmacist denies care to bleeding woman in Idaho

In some states, pharmacists are allowed to refuse to fill a prescription for a drug that may be used for birth control, or for abortion. Technically, they are supposed to provide a referral.

Now, in and of itself, I have a problem with a state licensed professional being allowed to insert THEIR conscience into filling a legal prescription. If you have a state license, seems to me, you agree that you will fulfill the requirements of the position, which is to fill legal prescriptions. Otherwise, we allow a pharmacist to insert their own opinion in giving treatment to blacks, Jews, gays, as well as women. I particularly am aware of this as I have in the past used birth control pills for medical reasons that had nothing to do with contraception--and because I'm a lesbian, contraception is clearly not a concern. SO in some states, a pharmacist could deny me such a prescription even though their "concerns" are completely without foundation.

Be that as it may, nevertheless, some states have decided that pharmacists can opt out of these particular prescriptions.

But now it gets worse. In Idaho, a woman took a prescription used for excessive uterine bleeding to a pharmacist who refused to fill it, because the patient might...might...have had an abortion. She might also have had postpartum bleeding, a "natural" miscarriage, fibroid tumors, or excessive menstrual bleeding for other reasons. And no referral was provided, so she was left without.

The pharmacist is basically saying it's better this woman bleed out just in case she had an abortion. No evidence either way (and under privacy laws, it's none of this pharmacist's business).

Technically, pharmacists are NOT supposed to be allowed to refuse to fill drugs used for treatment, only abortion inducing drugs, and birth control pills. So there may be some consequences.

But doesn't it strike you that this kind of thing starkly highlights a very fundamentalist view of punishment and retribution? It's a version of the death penalty, which denies the possibility of redemption and of forgiveness. And it seems to me that is a very, very dark place for a putative "Christian" to be.


JCF said...

This is heinous! Take away the pharmacist's license! >:-0

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

That being a licenced pharmacist means complying with the law is the stand of the law in Sweden and most countries I know.

The Church of Rome tries to have exemptions in its Concordates with (especially) the new states in Eastern Europe.

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

I guess I am a bit ill informed here. I agree, I think that a pharmacist has no business inserting their personal biases into the situation. However, why could she not take her prescription and go to another pharmacy and have it filled? When a pharmacist refuses to fill the prescription are they authorized to confiscate the prescription? I dare one to try doing that to me!

IT said...

I don't know the details of this particular case, but pharmacists who deny care are generally required to tell the individual where they can get it filled. however in many parts of the US even this would be prblematic as in small communities there may not be another pharmacy "down the street".

Barry Fernelius said...

It looks like this happened at a Walgreeens pharmacy in Nampa, Idaho. What was the reason for this woman's uterine bleeding? I don't know, the pharmacist didn't know, and under HIPAA it is NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

Jesus didn't ask the woman who touched his garment about the cause of her uterine bleeding either. Let those who have ears to hear, hear.

JCF said...

Preach it, Barry!